Julianne Sitch scored the first goal for Chicago Red Stars in the 2012 WPSL Elite League Season in a 2-0 win over FC Indiana. Photo Credit: Chicago Red Stars
Women's Soccer News: Chicago Red Stars Defeat FC Indiana 2-0 in Season Opener
First of Two Early Season Matches between Regional Rivals
Ten days after the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) Elite League kicked the 2012 season, the Chicago Red Stars celebrated their season opener on Sunday, May 20. The visiting FC Indiana Lionesses came into the match with a 0-2-0 record, after falling to former WPS sides Western New York Flash and Boston Breakers. With the level of competition Indian had faced, the Red Stars knew not to look at their record too closely.
The game saw much physical play, with several injury stoppages, against a very defensive-minded opponent. The Red Stars were able to control much of the possession but had to seek rare gaps in the defense to break through for scoring opportunities.
Around the 10th minute of the match, the FC Indiana got off a low blast that went just wide of the Red Stars’ net. Shortly after, in the 15th minute, Red Stars’ Lori Chalupny broke down the right side of the field and got off a cross from the end line but it sailed just over the heads of the rushing Red Stars’ forwards.
One of the best chances for the Red Stars came in the 30th minute after an FC Indiana yellow card by Maire Dina Jean Pierre. The Stars found themselves with a free kick around the Indiana 30 yard mark. Chalupny sent a ball into the box that found the leaping head of Alyssa Mautz. Mautz was able to put it across the goal face towards a lunging Sammy Scofield, but it fell just out of reach.
It looked like the teams would head to halftime without any goals, when in stoppage time it was Chalupny again finding herself in crossing range. She sent a ball into the box where Julianne Sitch placed a beautiful volley into the net, sending Chicago into the locker room with a one-goal lead.
|Veteran Lori Chalupny provided the assist for Julianne Sitch's goal against FC Indiana
The second half saw much of the same action, with Indiana sitting back and looking for a counter opportunity and the Red Stars finding themselves with several scoring opportunities, but no goals. It looked as if the game would end 1-0 when Red Stars’ Michele Weissenhofer was fouled in the Lionesses’ box. Lauren Fowlkes stepped up and slotted the penalty home, leaving the Red Stars with a 2-0 victory, and a 1-0-0 start to the season.
“We’re pleased with how we played today and being able to get that first win as a team is important,” remarked Chalupny. “We knew it was going to be a physical game but we stuck with our game plan and will use this as a step towards continuing improvement as a group.”
“We know what to expect heading into Friday’s match against them again,” said Julianne Sitch. “We corrected what we needed to correct in the second half of the game and feel good about getting the first win of the season.”
The Red Stars will head to South Bend on Friday, May 25, for a 6:00 p.m. CT rematch with FC Indiana at the Invaders Soccer Complex. Chicago’s next home match will be Sunday, June 3, against Boston Breakers. The game kicks off at 5:00 p.m. at North Central College, Naperville, IL.
Shots: Chicago 14, FC Indiana 2
Shots on Goal: Chicago 9, FC Indiana 1
Saves: Chicago (Forbes) 1, FC Indiana (Geralda Saintilus) 8
Fouls: Chicago 3, FC Indiana 13
Corners: Chicago 7, FC Indiana 1
Cards: FC Indiana 2 (Maire Dina Jeanne Pierre [Y], Natacha Cajuste [Y])
Goals: Julianne Sitch (45’ Assist by Lori Chalupny), Lauren Fowlkes (88’ PK)
Chicago: Jamie Forbes, Lauren Alkek (Kara Kabellis 68’), Michelle Wenino (Ashlee Elliott 90’), Sammy Scofield, Elise Addis, Jen Buczkowski (Kelsey Hough 90’), Julianne Sitch, Lori Chalupny, Alyssa Mautz (Vanessa Laxgang 90’), Lauren Fowlkes (Lindsay Schwartz 90’), Michele Weissenhofer (Allison Doyle 90’)
FC Indiana: Geralda Santilus, Kencia Merseille, Fiorda Charles, Carmela Aristilde, Dina Jean Pierre, Nadia Valentin, Jordan Clark, Lovely Placide, Wisiline Dolce, Sophia Batard, Manouchecka Pierre Louis
Subs Used: Abby Skoda, Marie Louise Valer, Natacha Cajuste, Shanel Gall, Darlene Ciquot, Felicia Libertin
Related Articles: WPSL on SoccerNation